Sustainable Ecosystems

drift creek old growthSustainable Ecosystems research addresses the sustainability of agricultural, forest, rangeland, wildlife, fishery, and native ecosystems. The program aims to define and develop natural and managed ecosystems in which environmental soundness results from the conscious interaction of humans with wildlife and other components of the systems.  Innovative links among scientific and humanistic disciplines will bring about increased understanding of the present and future health of natural and managed ecosystems and associated human communities. Sustainable ecosystems research is multi disciplinary:  insights from sociology, political science, anthropology, or philosophy may be combined with basic concepts from biology, chemistry, and physics to support research rooted in agricultural, forestry, rangeland management, or wildlife management. Students will acquire perspective by choosing among a broad variety of courses, and will participate in field, laboratory, or systems analysis projects.

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Advising Checklist

Examples of thesis titles:

  • Ecosystem Analysis of Wetland and Riparian Zone restoration at the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge over Twenty Years. Schyler Ainsworth Reis. Mentor: J. Boone Kauffman, Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Relationship Between Winter Downwelling Conditions and Summer Hypoxia Severity Along the Oregon Coast. Helen Marie Walters. Mentor: Yvette Spitz, CEOAS.
  • Carbon Footprint Calculations for Oregon State University and Guadalupe, Cerro Punta, Panama. Kimberly Mendez-Rivera. Mentor: Rick Colwell, CEOAS.
  • Suitability of selected enzyme assays as future soil quality indicators. Anne Taylor. Mentor: Dr. Richard Dick, Crop and Soil Sciences.
  • Population dynamics and conservation of threatened species Lupinus sulphureus ssp. Kincaidii (Fabaceae). Teman Erhart. Mentor: Dr. Mark Wilson, Botany and Plant Pathology.
  • Black Truffle Economics: Evaluating the costs and returns of establishing and producing Tuber melanosporum in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Heather Alvis. Mentor: Dr. Bart Eleveld, Extension Agricultural Economics
  • Old growth forests: the significance of gaps in under-story carbon storage with an examination of the link between climate change and rural livelihoods in developing countries: An opportunity for Latin America. Joyce Mayfield. Mentor: Dr. Bill Winner, Botany and Plant Pathology.
  • Direct-seeded cucurbit cropping-systems in Oregon and tropical South America. Avery McCombs. Mentor: Dr. Ray William, Horticulture..
  • A measure of agricultural literacy in Willamette Valley fourth grade students. Sara Boatner. Mentor: Dr. Wayne Fanno, Agriculture and Resource Economics.
  • Granary-site selection by Acorn Woodpeckers in Benton County, Oregon. Eric Johnson. Mentor: Dr. Dan Rosenberg, Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Production and invasion by Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) in Oregon. Julie Ream. Mentor: Dr. Jim Altland, North Willamette Research Ext. Ctr.